Toronto and Ottawa-Gatineau middle of the pack in Conference Board's city health ranking

OTTAWA, Dec. 13, 2016 /CNW/ - A Conference Board of Canada report assessing the health performance of 10 Canadian cities ranks Ottawa-Gatineau 5th overall, well ahead of Toronto in 9th place.

"While Ottawa-Gatineau outperforms Toronto in two of our four selected categories, both cities are middle-of-the-pack performers," said Louis Thériault, Vice-President, Public Policy. "Neither of the two cities place higher than 3rd in any of the city health categories, but overall each receive a "B" grade."


  • Toronto ranks 9th out of the 10 Canadian cities in the rankings and earns an overall "B" grade for city health.
  • Ottawa-Gatineau places 5th and receives an overall "B" grade.
  • Saskatoon finishes 1st in the city health rankings, placing ahead of Calgary and Winnipeg. All three of these metro areas score an "A" grade.

The City Health Monitor examines and benchmarks the physical and socio-economic health of 10 metropolitan areas in Canada. Each metro area receives a grade based on their performance on 24 indicators, grouped into four categories: life satisfaction; population health; healthy lifestyle; and access to health care services.

Toronto scores "C" grades in three of the four categories: life satisfaction, healthy lifestyle and access to health services. Toronto's grade on the healthy lifestyle category is boosted by a relatively lower rate of heavy drinking, but its last place finish on physical activity drops the metro area's grade in this category. Meanwhile, Toronto posted modest results in the life satisfaction category, but faltered on perceived health and perceived mental health.

Toronto also places in the mid-to-bottom half on access to health care services. While more than 90 per cent of Toronto's citizens have a regular medical doctor, placing it near the top on that indicator, the city ranks in the bottom on the number of specialists and nurses per 100,000 population.

The metro area receives its only "B" grade in population health, placing 1st on two indicators. Among the 10 Canadian cities in the ranking, Toronto has the lowest percentage of adults diagnosed with having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and the lowest cancer rate.

Ottawa-Gatineau earns a "B" grade in the healthy lifestyle and the access to health care categories. With more than 60 per cent of its adult population reported being physically active, the metro area places 1st in this indicator. But lower scores on at least one of the other indicators, including placing in the bottom half of the ranking on obesity, offset the other positive results in the healthy lifestyle category. When it comes to access to health care services, Ottawa-Gatineau has the highest number of specialists per 100,000 population, but places near the bottom on the per capita number of hospital beds, resulting in a fifth-place ranking in this category.

Meanwhile, Ottawa-Gatineau earns a "C" grade in the population health and the life satisfaction category. While it is true that the metro area has relatively low rates of mood disorder and chronic lung and pulmonary diseases, low grades on diabetes and hypertension hurt its ranking in this category.

Like Toronto, Ottawa-Gatineau posted modest results on most of the six life satisfaction indicators but faltered on perceived health and perceived mental health.

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SOURCE Conference Board of Canada

For further information: Yvonne Squires, Media Relations, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 221, E-mail:; Juline Ranger, Director of Communications, The Conference Board of Canada, Tel.: 613- 526-3090 ext. 431, E-mail:


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